Food & Adventures

Monday 4 December 2017

Sunday Dinner at The Sun Inn, Morpeth

This weekend we had a busy Sunday. We went to see The Lambton Worm Panto at Customs House (read Mrs Cool's review here). We also took the kids to meet Santa Claus at Wallington Hall so only had a couple of hours to have our dinner. Sunday Dinner is my favourite meal of the week so we checked google for reviews of local pubs and headed to one with 4.5 star reviews. We walked in and pretty much straight away walked straight back out again. It's seemed like an old man pub, not somewhere for the family to have a meal. There was a restaurant area but it was closed, there didn't seem to be any staff on hand and the seating wasn't right for a family of five. Who knows the food might be great there but we didn't hang around to find out. So next we headed to Morpeth and went to The Sun Inn and what a difference. 

The staff were there waiting to find us a table, it was quite busy but we managed to find a table perfect for 2 adults and 3 kids. Our waitress took our drinks order as we sat down and gave us some menus. I prefer Beer to Lager so was happy to see they had a few guest beers and decided to go for a pint of the Caledonian Edinburgh Castle and Mrs Cool had a glass of Merlot (Mrs Cool was impressed that our waitress knew that it was a Chilean Merlot)

Jack loves fish so when he saw Cod and Chips on the kids menu he was all over that and was really happy with how big his fish was. Heidi and Harry both went for Chicken Nuggets (Nuggets are life for those two) the nuggets also looked good and seemed to be homemade. 

The Kids meals comes with a drink and ice cream for dessert and for £6.95 I think this is quite reasonably priced. The staff also get some bonus points as they brought out the kids some water with their ice cream as they had finished their drinks which was a nice touch.

Mrs Cool went for Roast Beef and I went for Roast Pork. Both came with Mashed and Roast Potatoes, Mashed Swede, Seasonal Vegetables, a hefty Yorkshire Pudding and lashings of gravy. I was also happy that the Pork came with Crackling (I love a bit of crackling). Everything was delicious and the portions were huge, my pork was very thickly sliced and by the end we were too stuffed to have any pudding.

Our whole bill came to less than £50 which for a family of five we were really happy with and were happy to leave a tip as the staff were so good. We will definitely be back to The Sun Inn.

Well, that's all for now.



Friday 1 December 2017

Big Cool Five

I've decided to launch a new feature on my blog where on the first of each month I'll do a quick recap the five highlights from the previous month. These highlights are my Big Cool Five. November was a busy month for me and it was hard to narrow it down to just five. Here are Novembers Big Cool Five.

Dirty Bottles, Alwick
This little gem of a place is a new discovery for me and I can't wait to go back. If you like Smokehouse food you need to check it out. The burgers are amazing. I have written a full review here and it is definitely the worth the trip Alnwick.

Justice League
I'm a massive fan of Superheroes and have been looking forward to Justice League for a while. The previous DCEU movies have been criticised by some but I've enjoyed them. Me and Harry really enjoyed this one too. You can read my review here.

Alice in Wonderland at Northern Stage
Panto season is upon us and if you're looking for an alternative to the traditional pantomime then I can highly recommend Alice in Wonderland at The Northern Stage. The Cheshire Cat (above) was amazing and the Mad Hatters Tea Party was so much fun. You can read Mrs Cool's review here.

Ice Skating at Centre for Life
I know it may not look it but I'm actually quite a good Ice Skater. I mean, I'm no Torvill and Dean but I'm pretty good. The Centre for Life in Newcastle has had an Ice Rink every Winter for the last few years and it is definitely worth a visit. Heidi is already better than me and Harry is getting there too.

Longsands Fish Kitchen, Tynemouth
Another new restaurant I tried was Longsands Fish Kitchen in Tynemouth. This might be my new favourite restaurant in Tynemouth. It's already got a good reputation and had even won an award recently. The fish soup was sooo good.

Look out for my December Highlights next month.

Well, that's all for now.



Wednesday 29 November 2017

Justice League: A review

I make no secret of my love of DC Superheroes, Superman is my favourite of all superheroes and Batman is a close second. I'm also a defender of the previous movies in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). I don't think Batman V Superman was as bad as everyone made out. I actually quite liked Suicide Squad and, well, everyone liked Wonder Woman.

The premise of the film is classic comic book fare. With Superman dead (sorry to spoil the end of BVS) Earth is defenceless against an alien invasion. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) already knows about the Big Bad of the movie, Steppenwolf, as thousands of years ago he tried to invade Earth with his army of zombie-insect-alien type things. Then, he was defeated by and alliance of Amazons, Altanteans and Men. Now he is back and is trying to find 3 boxes, called mother boxes, that once combined will reduce Earth to a desolate wasteland like his home planet.

Batman (Ben Affleck) saw visions of this in BVS and knows he needs help to protect earth. So begins his quest to unite the Justice League. He's been collecting info on the other heroes for the last 2 movies and now has to persuade them to help. The Flash (Ezra Miller) is on board straight away but Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) need a bit more persuading. They soon realise that even all of them together are not enough and they need to try and bring Superman back to life. The figue out they can use on of the Mother Boxes and the crashed Kryptonian Ship from Man of Steel and Batman V Superman to bring him back. Once Superman joins the team the tables are turned on Steppenwolf and Earth is saved.

I really like Ben Affleck as Batman and Wonder Woman is amazing again. I also think Superman in this film is the best version of Superman since Superman II. However, the new characters are some of the best things about Justice League. The Flash is great as a loner with seemingly no social skills and desperately in need of some friends. However the best newcomer award goes to Aquaman, I've always considered Aquaman to be a pretty lame hero, I never really 'got' him, until now. Maybe it's because he is played by Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones but this version of Aquaman is really Bad Ass! He's arrogant, he's cool and he don't need no help from no one.

I do have a couple of issues with the film, firstly I think it would have ben better if it had come after the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg movies as the audience would have had more of a connection with the characters. Also some of the VFX were poor compared to other films of this genre particuarly the FX for Steppenwolf. However these flaws are not enough for me to dislike the film and I'm really looking forward to the next films in the series.

If you do go and see the film then make sure you stay for the mid and end credits scenes as it's worth the wait for the cameo right at the end.

Well, that's all for now.



Monday 27 November 2017

The Dirty Bottles, Alnwick.

I love visiting Alnwick, whether it's a walk around the castle and gardens or a trip to barter books to pick up something new to read, Alnwick is one of my favourite places in Northumberland. But I recently discovered a little gem that may be my favourite place ever, The Dirty Bottles.

It's a mix of vintage and modern with exposed brickwork and wooden barrels for tables which hark back to olden times while the tablet to place your order and your own beer/cider tap built right into the table, this was something I've not seen before. You can order a beer glass and then just help you self using the tap on the table and the tablet adds the cost of your drinks to your bill. This place definitely has a hipster vibe right down to the wash basin made out of a beer keg in the restroom. However it is not all style over substance as the menu is really special. If you're a meat lover you need this place in your life.


Mrs Cool went for the 2 meats and 2 side for £11 (bargain!) and had the Brisket and Pulled Pork with Chunky Chips and Mac and Cheese. There are a selection of sauces to choose from on your table and Mrs Cool said Korean Sticky BBQ Sauce was great on the meats and the Bacon Mayonnaise was perfect for dipping the Chunky Chips in. I suggest skipping breakfast and lunch if you're going for this one as the portions are massive.

They have some great burgers on offer with some brilliantly imaginative names. I was torn between Ginola's Stepover and Cheesier than the 80's but in the end I went for the 80's burger. A Double Beef Patty with Bacon, Black Pudding, Mushrooms, Blue Cheese and topped with Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce. All the burgers come with Fries and Onion Rings and these are great too. You need to wear your baggy pants for this bad boy and you'll probably need a nap afterwards but it is so worth it. This is one of the best burgers I've ever had as it has all of my favourite things in it.

The kids menu is pretty good too, Heidi was at a friends birthday party so she didn't come, she probably wouldn't have liked it anyway as she is a bit funny with meat. Harry, however, was in his element, he is just like his old man and loves a burger so he went for the Cheeseburger. Jack is only just starting to like burgers at home so wasn't adventurous enough to try one here and went for the Chicken Goujon. Both dishes came with fries and the portion sizes were pretty good. The kids meals also come with a drink and Ice Cream.

We'll definitely be back as there are so many other dishes I needs to try. The Dirty Bottles also has a roof terrace that we didn't get see and it looks great for sampling their cocktail menu. You can stay over in one of The Dirty Bottles Luxury Boutique Rooms and I think we will be doing this soon as the rooms look great. Check out The Dirty Bottles website for more information here.

Well, that's all for now.



Monday 20 November 2017

10 Burgers to try in the North East

I have long been a lover of burgers and I'm a bit of a dab hand at making some great homemade burgers (just ask Mrs. Cool) but I love having someone else make me a burger. The North-East has no shortage of burger joints so I've decided to share with you 10 burgers to try from around the region.

10. West Coast Classic
MEAT: STACK @ No.28, Newcastle
Credit - The Twin Thing
This one features last on the list as it's a place I've not personally tried yet. It is next on my list though as quite literally EVERYONE I've spoken to who has been have said it is amazing. This is the West Coast Classic, the melted cheese, the onions, OMG!

9. Avocado Club Burger
Smashburger, Newcastle

Toppings really make a good burger great. As a big fan of avocado it was inevitable there would be a burger with avocado on this list. The Avocado Club is the most salad heavy burger on the list but it ain't a healthy option, the ranch dressing and bacon are also great. On a side note Smashburger also have some of the best fries I've ever had.

8. Trio of Burgers
South Causey Inn, County Durham

What's better than a burger? Three burgers. These sliders are made with different meats. One is Game, one is Lamb and the third is Beef. Each has different toppings and aren't too overwhelming as each one is only a couple of bites.

7. Turnbulls of Alnwick Burger
Hawthorns at the Crown Plaza, Newcastle

This is the most expensive burger at £16 but totally worth it. You can tell the meat is the highest quality as the patty is from Turnbulls of Alnwick. The Gruyere cheese is sooo good and has a great melt and really goes brilliantly with the Maple Smoked Bacon.

6. Cheesemas No.1
Byron, Newcastle

This one was a special that Byron had last Christmas and I really hope they bring them back this year. Smoked Bacon, Mature Cheddar and an onion ring, a proper filling burger. A double patty with this one so you may not be able to move afterwards.

5. Sloppy Joe
Fat Hippo, Jesmond

This one is on the secret menu and you need to be in the know. Join The Herd and get the herd card and when you go just ask for the secret menu. The Sloppy Joe is two patties topped with chilli and jalapenos and sour cream, so unctuous, so messy, so good.

4. Capital B
BURGER. Newcastle

The newest place in Newcastle and it is already getting a good reputation. This is the signature burger the Capital B. A Beef patty topped with Slow Cooked Brisket, French Brie and pickled red onion. These burgers are seriously juicy and you need a good pile of napkins handy when having this one.

3. Cheesier than the 80's
The Dirty Bottles, Alnwick

This was the most recent burger I've had and I really love this place. A meat lovers paradise and the burgers are incredible. Two Beef patties, Black Pudding, Bacon Blue cheese, mushrooms and lashings of blue cheese sauce the topping just keep coming. Try this one and you will definitely start getting the meat sweats.

2. Chilli Burger
Evans Bistro, Whitley Bay

Another secret burger that makes an appearance on the specials board from time to time. A Beef patty with chilli and the cheese is somehow melted right into the chilli (I'm drooling just writing this) it's topped with onion rings. A mammoth task trying to finish this and you will probably make a mess if you try and eat it with your hands (but that's what you want in a burger).

1. PB&J
Fat Hippo Underground, Newcastle
Credit - Fat Hippo
Ah, my true love. My go to burger whenever I get the chance, The PB&J. The rest of the list have come very close but this is still my favourite. Double patty topped with peanut butter and Bacon Jam. I might have to nip to toon to get one right now.

Have you already tried any of the burgers on the list? Do you have any favourites I haven't mentioned?

Well, that's all for now.



Friday 17 November 2017

Paddington 2: A Review

In these times of strife you sometimes need a little bit of old fashioned, non-threatening family fun and what better than a polite little bear in a duffel coat and a dusty red hat. Paddington 2 is a great film for the whole family.

The film starts with a flashback to Paddington as a cub being found by his Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo when he is adrift on a log about to go over a waterfall. We then see Paddington (Voiced by Ben Wishaw) in London with the Brown family looking for a present for his Aunt Lucy's birthday. He finds an old pop up book of London and decides it's perfect as Aunt Lucy always wanted to see London. The problem is that book is very rare and quite expensive.

Paddington embarks on some jobs to try and make enough money to buy the book. This involves some funny scenes as Paddington tries being a barber and a window cleaner. I could hear my kids giggling away at these scenes and I found the quite funny myself.

Next we meet the villain of the film, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) a once prominent actor whose star is fading and has had to resort to making dog food commercials. Hugh Grant is brilliant and really hams it up and plays Phoenix as a proper luvvy (and slightly unhinged, especially in the scene where he is talking to himself). Paddington tells Phoenix about the book but Phoenix knows more valuable than anyone else suspects (due to a side plot about his grandfather and a travelling fair) he plots to steal the book for himself. Paddington witnesses Phoenix (in disguise) stealing the book and gives chase. After a case of mistaken identity Paddington is accuses of the theft and sentenced to jail.

Paddington being the friendly bear he is he decides to try an make friends with his fellow inmates. He meets Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson), The mean, Gruff looking chef at the prison. All the inmates are scared of knuckles but Paddington being the nice bear he is manages to make friends with Knuckles by sharing his Marmalade sandwiches. Paddington, Knuckles and few other inmates plan to escape so Paddington can clear his name. On the outside The Brown family are looking for the real thief and Phoenix Buchanan is using the pop up book like a treasure map to find a hidden fortune. Will Paddington clear his name, will Phoenix get away with it, will Aunt Lucy ever get a birthday present? You will have to see the film to find out.

This is a rip roaring yarn with lots of fun, a lot of laughs and some sad moments too, Mrs Cool shed a tear at one particularly sad scene but ultimately it is a really heart warming film. I haven't seen the first film but I'm familiar with Paddington and know the story. I don't think I missed any thing by not having seen the first one and I think everyone who sees this will enjoy the delightful joy and pure fun that the Spectacled bear from darkest Peru brings to the big screen.

If you're looking for a different family film you can also read my review of Thor: Ragnarok here.

Well, that's all for now.



Monday 13 November 2017

My Grooming Regime

A little while a go I posted my tips on how I dress to impress and I'm going to follow that up My Grooming Regime. I start by by washing my face simply with a bar of soap and basin of warm water. I'm currently using a bar of Honey I Washed the Kids from Lush it doesn't smell 'soapy' and it moisturises my face so I can keep my youthful good looks. Sam doesn't believe me when I say that other people can't believe I turn 37 next year but it's true!
On to my facial hair. To keep my beard in check I use a Men's Trimmer (you can watch a trimmer review here). Most of the time I let my beard grow and I go through phases of having my beard either long or short. At the minute I'm keeping it quite short and give it a trim every couple of weeks but on special occasions I need to do a bit of styling and a good trimmer will will let you do that too. After trimming I will give it a quick brush with a beard brush. Once I'm happy with how my beard is looking I finish with a little beard oil. I like to use one with a woody or spiced fragrance.

I haven't always had a beard and only started growing one in my 30's. I do very much prefer it though and think a beard gives a more distinguished look. I'm sure you'd agree......
Being a Ginger my hair is the bane of my life and as it is quite thick as well it is constantly not doing what I want it to do. Through my teens and early twenties I used a LOT of gel to keep it in place but as I've gotten older the wet look just won't do any more. I tried wax for a bit but don't like that either. I've decided that I've reached the point in my life where all I need is a good brush and zero product.

Mrs Cool recently got me this little set from Bluebeard's Revenge, the brush really helps tame my unmanageable barnet and the beard brush is a revelation. The beard oil is cuban spiced and I love it.
Do you have any preferences when it comes to grooming?

Well, that's all for now.


*this is a collaborative post

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Thor: Ragnarok: A Review

Many moons ago, before The Avengers first assembled, Kenneth Brannagh made a Viking Opus which brought the God of Thunder to the big screen. Thor was a great comic book movie and got the mix of action and comedy spot on. The sequel The Dark World wasn't quite the success the original was but was a decent movie. Thor: Ragnarok ends the trilogy on a high and for me it's the best Thor movie. Mrs. Cool, who is not a big Marvel fan, enjoyed this one too but said you really need to have watched the previous Thor films to get the full benefit from this one.

The film starts with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) imprisoned by a fire demon called Surtur whose destiny is to cause Ragnarok, the destruction of Asgard. You soon find out that this film really plays it for laughs and while Thor takes the piss out of his captor he manages to effect his escape. Thor heads home to find not everything is as it seems as he finds Odin (Anthony Hopkins) taking it easy watching a theatre performance depicting the end of the last Thor movie as a Shakespearean play (watch out for a few cameos as the actors in the play).

Odin has really been left on Earth by Loki's (Tom Hiddleston) trickery and with the help of Doctor Strange Thor tracks his father down only to be told that his time is almost up and Odin's death will allow the return of the Goddess of Death, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Hela shows she means business straight away buy destroying Mjolnir and sending Thor and Loki tumbling out of the bifrost as they are trying to get back to Asgard.

The pair end up on a trash pile of a planet called Sakaar where Thor is captured (again). This time by Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) who plans to offer Thor up as a contender to a Gladiatorial style combat arena to the leader of the planet, The Grandmaster. Loki has been on Sakaar for longer than Thor due to timey-wimey reasons and has wormed his way into The Grandmasters good books. Now The Grandmaster is played by Jeff Goldblum but I get the feeling he isn't playing a character, The Grandmaster essentially IS Jeff Goldblum and was my favourite part of the film. Thor impresses Jeff who will pit him against the planets champion in one on one combat.

The champion turns out to be The Hulk, if you have seen the trailer you know how their first encounter turns out. Hulk has been on Sakaar since the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron and has been Hulk the whole time. Theres is no explanation for this as most of the early scenes with Hulk he seems to quite calm. The interaction between Thor and Hulk is what makes this film so great and turns it into an unexpected Buddy Movie. Thor, Hulk and Valkyrie manage to escape from Sakaar and leave Loki behind after he tried to betray Thor again. They head back to Asgard to take on Hela and her forces.

The supporting cast is also great with Jeff Goldblum being the highlight, Karl Urban pops ups as Skurge an Asgardian who helps Hela, the films director Taika Waititi provides the voice of Korg, one of Thor's fellow Gladiators who is made of stone and provides some more comic relief.

The film is bathed in 80's-esque neon glow and moves along to an electro-synth score the breaks with recent tradition. Movie soundtracks have been incredible of the past few years with amazing collections of iconic songs slotted into every scene to help tell the story. Thor: Ragnarok, however,  goes the opposite direction and relies almost exclusively on the Led Zeppelin Epic Norse Anthem The Immigrant Song and it fits perfectly as a Viking Battle Cry.

Marvel have been hitting them out of the park and Thor: Ragnarok continues with this being the best MCU movie I've seen since Civil War (maybe even better after a few more watches). It is also the Hulk movie we've all been waiting for. It might be Thor's name on the poster but it's Hulk who steals the show in every scene he's in. This film along with the next two Avengers movies have been mooted as a backdoor Hulk trilogy and I can wait to see what Marvel have planned for everyones favourite Green Goliath.

Well, that's all for now.



Monday 23 October 2017

BURGER. The newest burger joint in Toon

Burgers are very much in at the minute and may the world rejoice (well, I do anyway, hurrah!). Newcastle has it's fair share of burger joints and the latest is BURGER. At The Gate in Newcastle City Centre. I had been at work until 17.30 so I met Mrs Cool and the kids in toon for us to give it a try.

We were shown to our seats and had a look at the menus. Our waitress took our order and brought our drinks out. The Kids had Chocolate Milkshake which came in a little metal cup, all the kids loved their drinks and almost finished them before our food had even arrived. Me and Mrs Cool ordered a Coca-Cola (standard when you have a burger). I need to make a special mention of the tumblers we were given for our Cokes. They were pretty cool and I want them for home (They'd be great for Whisky).

There are all kinds of Burgers available (you can view the menu here). I was torn between the Katsu, the Blues and the Capital B. In the end I went for the Capital B, Scottish Beef with Slow Cooked Brisket, French Brie, Pickled Red Onion, Beef Tomato and BURGER. Sauce, I also got a side of Sweet Potato Fries. The Scottish Beef Pattie was lush, really juicy and the brisket was amazing. My only criticism would be that it needed more Brie.

Mrs Cool wen for the Bacon Cheese, which is Scottish Beef with Red Leicester and Crispy Maple Bacon. She also got a side of Onions Rings and she said it was the best Bacon and Cheese Burger she has ever had and was really pleased that when she asked for no pickle on hers the staff said it was no problem. If you're looking for a 'regular' burger then this is a really good one as it was easy to eat unlike some of the large 'stack' burgers you can get which ca be a bit messy.

The kids menu is limited as the only choices are either plain Burger or Cheese Burger so if your kids don't like burger then probably best to go somewhere else. Harry freakin loves a burger so he was happy. Heidi and Jack can sometimes be a bit fussy but even they loved the burgers they got.

After our meal we had a chat to the manager who was telling us that they only use the highest quality Scottish beef in their patties and you can really tell as these burgers are insane (in a good way). I also enjoyed the ambiance as the music playing (from the DJ) was great, it's quite lively and I think it fits in well at The Gate.

Well, that's all for now.


*This is a collaborative post

Thursday 19 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049: A Review

I'm going to start with a confession, I've only seen the original Blade Runner maybe two or three times. I like it and can appreciate the impact it has had on Sci-Fi and the influence it has had on cinema in general. That being said it's not one of my favourite films. The sequel is definitely a film for the fanboys.

The film starts with a quick summery of what has happened in the interim since the first film. The Protagonist K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner who is tracking down a replicant (Bio-engineered Humans used for labour) who has gone on the run (Played by the hulking behemoth that is Dave Bautista). Straight away we find out that K is also a replicant and once he has found and retired (killed) the replicant he is looking for he find something buried by a tree that gets the film going. A replicant has died in childbirth.

K heads back to check in with his superior (Robin Wright) and is tasked to track down the child and retire it as the consequences of replicants reproducing would cause anarchy. We then see K go home where his only company is his In House AI, a hologram, called Joi (Ana de Armas). I liked the relationship between K and Joi but I did feel that I had seen this concept before in 2013's Her. I did however like how it explored how in house AI such as Alexa and Siri might evolve in the future.

The film explores themes such as what it is to be human, whether it is the fact we are born that makes us human or if it is our experiences and memories. K wrestles with memories he has as he is not sure if these are true memories or if they have been implanted to help him make better decisions in the line one work he has been designed for.

As K investigates he meets Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) another replicant who is the PA for Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) whose company now makes the replicants. Luv I found to be quite a boring one dimensional character as she didn't really do anything other than kill people in her way. Wallace was a bit more interesting as a blind, mad scientist who can see the benefit of replicant that can reproduce.

As both K and Luv try to find the replicant child they track down Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who has been living in hiding in a run down hotel and eventually Deckard is taken by Luv to Wallace who makes him an offer to help find the replicant child.

Some of the performances in Blade Runner 2049 are really great, Ryan Gosling plays K with the brilliant angst of his torturous existence. Ana de Armas also puts is a good performance as naively innocent Joi. There are a few performances that don't hit the mark, mainly Harrison Ford. It feels like, as with his return to Star Wars and Indiana Jones, there just wasn't the same effort put onto the part as there was first time around.

The tone and pace are very much in keeping with the original. The aesthetics are spot on and I think this film is one of the most visually stunning films I've seen in a long time. The sound editing is also brilliant and you really feel immersed in the world you're presented with. If you loved the original you will love this one. If, like me, you thought the original was good but weren't blown away by it then you will probably find this one OK.

For me film does have some problems, personally I felt it was too slow and a lot of the scenes could have been cut down. My immediate thought when I finished watching was that I could easily have had around an hour cut from the runtime. Also some of the 'twists' I could see coming a mile away and eventually I thought the film was just going the the motions of hitting the plot points.

Well, that's all for now.



Monday 16 October 2017

Dinner and Breakfast at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, Bar & Grill Newcastle

Once in a blue moon me and Mrs Cool get a child-free night and we like to have a good night out. This happened recently when we went to see Katherine Ryan (Hilarious by the way) at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, we also spent the evening at Hotel Indigo. The focal point of the hotel is The Marco Pierre White restaurant on the ground floor.  The Steakhouse, Bar & Grill is the Marco Pierre White's only restaurant in the North-East, there are a few menus to choose from (you can find them here).


As we were staying at the hotel there is an inclusive dinner menu we chose to dine from. It changes regularly and this is the one we had.

This being an evening out we obviously had to start with wine. We both love a merlot and this is the one we went for. It was very smooth and had a slight chocolatey taste, lush.

Mrs Cool loves a bowl of soup so she immediately went for the Cream of Carrot Soup. She said it was deliciously sweet and served with with some nice bread to dip in. A perfect warming dish for a cold Autumn evening.

I went for the Ham Hock Terrine, what really made this dish stand out was the pickled vegetables. I loved the sharpness of the pickles. The terrine itself was lush, I often choose a terrine as it's one of my favourite starters and this one was particularly good.

For her main Mrs Cool went for Slow Cooked Pork Belly. Sam loves a bit of pork especially when it has some crispy skin. She said this skin was very crispy and the meat was great as it was falling apart.

I had the Chicken Ballotine, The chicken was nice and moist and the pearl barley it sat on was delish and went well with the wild mushrooms. The crispy bacon and the pea shoots finished the dish off nicely.

For dessert we both opted for the Chocolate Tarte. Which was very luxurious and not too heavy which was good as we were starting to get a bit full by this point.


The next morning we were up and ready nice and early for breakfast. I don't get hangovers, Mrs Cool however, was not as lucky. They had my favourite breakfast which is Eggs Benedict so I had to choose that. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the hollandaise was delicious.

If you would like to find out more about what else we got up to during our stay check out Mrs Cool's post here.

Well, that's all for now,


You can follow Big Stevie Cool on Instagram here.

*Disclosure: Sam and I we invited to stay at Hotel Indigo and dine at MPW on a  complimentary basis
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